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04/06/2013

Movies: How Do You Like Your Hercules?


Hercules
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Kellan Lutz will both play Hercules

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

In lieu of a review -- this weekend is all about the return of the now twenty-year-old Jurassic Park (in 3D) anyway -- how about some hyper-masculine movie news? 

Have you heard that there are not one but two HERCULES movies in the works? If it's not quite true that Hollywood is always out of ideas, it is definitely true that Hollywood only likes a few of them at a tine. Was it the success of brawny god/superhero Thor (2010) that convinced them? Was it TV's fleshy Spartacus? Whatever it was, Hollywood would like you to pay to see two sandle-clad Pec-tacular heroes next year. Unfortunately not in the same film so The Rock and The Lutz won't be wrestling around in the sand together in tiny skirts but each headlining their own Hercules pictures. 

MORE, plus some movie news AFTER THE JUMP...

The Rock will play the demi-god in Hercules: The Thracian Wars by terrible director Brett Ratner (who recently won a prize from GLAAD for deciding not to be a homophobe anymore. *gag* How about we give prizes to people who are our champions instead? Enough with the grovelling!). The Rock gives good fun screen presence but that title makes it seem like one of those dreadfully serious action films for whom fun is Kryptonite. Meanwhile Kellan Lutz, who has as of yet never exhibited anything like The Rock's screen charisma, will star in Hercules 3D for director Renny Harlin whose career has seen better days but he's capable of a certain over-the-top campiness that might better suit the material (Have you ever seen The Long Kiss Goodnight? Geena Davis sharp shoots while ice skating!)

I prefer my action heroes more slim but Hollywood never has. They're still looking for the Heir to Schwarzenegger & Stallone and the other cartoon-muscled giants of the 1980s. The search has never quite paid off since the hyper-manly hero has been replaced by the Traditional Superhero in the public imagination. Now, even if you have a sickening body like, say, Ryan Reynolds they still feel the need to replace it with fake looking CGI muscles (the worst of Green Lantern's many sins).

Hercules-four

Where was I? Yes, Herculean Strength. Who is your dream demi-god? 1950s Hercules Beefcake Steve Reeves, the Disney Hero who went the distance (drawn by David Kawena), Kellan Lutz, or The Rock?

BONUS SCENES

Siskel-ebert-thumbs  roadSpeaking of superheroes... artist Kevin Wada gives the X-Men ladies fashion makeovers.

 roadThere's a real argument to be made they Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were the proto movie-bloggers. I'm not religious but I like to think that Siskel and Ebert can now share a cloud in heaven and bicker about the aesthetics of the Pearly Gates. I was devastated a dozen or so years ago when Siskel died and Ebert, too, shall be greatly missed. RIP.

 roadDid you catch the series premiere of Hannibal, yet another variation on the endlessly troublingly popular serial killer genre? This review is spot-on.

 roadAnd speaking of horror remakes, here's the new Carrie trailer starring Chloe Moretz and the great Julianne Moore (whose greatness does not generally involve the choosing of projects). They're all gonna laugh at it; there is just no replacing Sissy Spacek and her dirty pillows!

 roadHere's a fun variation on "character posters" that ubiquitous marketing trend for genre pictures (and even regular dramas like The Great Gatsby). Snowpiercer, a new sci-fi drama from the great Korean director Bong Joon-ho has released passports for all of its main characters

Nathaniel Rogers would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Posted Apr. 6,2013 at 7:00 PM EST by in Film, Kellan Lutz, Nathaniel Rogers, News | Permalink | Comments (57)


News: Rick Warren, Nelson Mandela, Asteroids, Smith College

RoadPastor Rick Warren's son Matthew has committed suicide.

WarmingRoadWhat America will look like under 25 feet of seawater.

RoadNASA to tow asteroid toward Earth for exploration. "The $105 million proposal would begin planning on a two-stage program in which a robotic spacecraft would grab a small asteroid as early as 2019 and drag it back toward Earth, leaving it in a stable position 'just beyond the moon,' a NASA official said."

RoadSmith College wants an end to anti-trans discrimination in admissions.

RoadNelson Mandela discharged from hospital: "The statement from the office of President Jacob Zuma said there had been 'a sustained and gradual improvement' in the condition of 94-year-old Mandela, who was admitted to a hospital on the night of March 27. 'The former President will now receive home-based high care,' the statement said."

RoadDavid Mixner has five questions for activist Alan van Capelle.

RoadAnti-gay evangelical who called AIDS "a gay cancer" appointed to run Brazil's human Rights and Minority Commission: "Campaigners in Brazil have staged protests and demonstrations over the decision to appoint Mr Feliciano. A high-profile campaign has collected 450,000 signatures calling for his resignation."

Posted Apr. 6,2013 at 5:37 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (58)


Rand Paul Has a Plan to Keep Marriage Debate Going for Another Couple of Decades: VIDEO

Rand_paul

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tells Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody that conservatives cannot win a marriage battle at the federal level, so the only hope conservatives have to keep the "traditional" marriage debate alive is to keep marriage at the state level since certain states are likely to remain anti-gay for a long time:

"I think right now if we say we're only going to [have] a federally mandated one man, one woman marriage, we're going to lose that battle because the country is going the other way right now. If we're to say each state can decide, I think a good 25, 30 states still do believe in traditional marriage, and maybe we allow that debate to go on for another couple of decades and see if we can still win back the hearts and minds of people."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Apr. 6,2013 at 4:59 PM EST by in Evangelical Christians, Evangelicals, Gay Marriage, News, Rand Paul | Permalink | Comments (39)


A Preview of This Year's Broadway Bares: VIDEO

Bares

The 23rd legendary take-it-off benefit for Broadway Cares/Equaity Fights AIDS returns in June with a road trip across this great land of ours.

Have a first look, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Apr. 6,2013 at 4:01 PM EST by in New York, News, Theatre | Permalink | Comments (8)


Dr. Ben Carson Apologizes, Says He Could Have Made His Anti-Gay Point Less Offensively

Dr. Ben Carson has apologized to Johns Hopkins University students and staff in an email expressing regret over remarks he made to Sean Hannity comparing gays to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals, Politico reports:

Ben_carson“As you know, I have been in the national news quite a bit recently and my 36 year association with Johns Hopkins has unfortunately dragged our institution into the spotlight as well. I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused,” wrote Carson, who is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.”

Carson said he has not changed his views on gay marriage, but that he recognizes he erred badly in expressing his opinion.

“There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget. Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point. I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words,” he said.

More than half of Johns Hopkins students have signed a petition calling for Carson to withdraw as commencement speaker.

Posted Apr. 6,2013 at 12:47 PM EST by in Ben Carson, News | Permalink | Comments (79)


Imagine This Chasing You Through the Woods: VIDEO

Petman

Boston Dynamics, creator of the Big Dog, and Big Mule, presents its first humanoid robot named Petman, which will stalk you in your nightmares.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

According to Boston Dynamics: "It is used to test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments. The video shows initial testing in a chemical protection suit and gas mask. PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit. The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature."

Posted Apr. 6,2013 at 12:05 PM EST by in News, Robot | Permalink | Comments (12)



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